I have a confession to make. I have been obsessed with weddings for as long as I can remember. Seriously, I had a stack of bridal magazines by the time I was 7. So by the time I got a sparkly ring on my finger. I was a prime target for the $56 billion a year Wedding Industrial Complex. If you take the right precautions before each option, you will find that you can save money on a wedding, especially if you follow these tips and tricks!
According to The Knot’s yearly survey, the average cost of a 2017 wedding in America was a whopping $33,000–not including the honeymoon!!
That’s a downpayment on a house y’all!
You don’t have to be a wedding junkie like me to feel the pressure to overspend, and even penny-pinchers can quickly find their wedding costs spiraling out of control.
So how can you avoid your nuptials turning into a matri-money pit? Like most good planning, setting goals and boundaries early is the key to success.
Last year, only 10% of couples paid for their entire wedding on their own. That means that for most people, families help foot the bill.
Now, family and money can be as volatile a combo as matches and gasoline, so make sure you set some boundaries early on.
Have frank and loving discussions with anyone who might help about how much they’ll contribute and what kind of say in the planning that entitles them to.
Before you take that check from your Uncle, you should know whether he thinks he’ll get to pick the menu. How much money you’ll be able to put in depends on your financial situation.
But make yourself one ironclad promise: NO DEBT. After years of working with young couples, I can tell you how many start off their lives together with wedding debt shackled around their ankles.
Incredibly, 74% of couples say they plan to go into debt to pay for wedding costs. Guys… I just… I can’t even.
Don’t get me wrong, weddings are important, but unlike a house or an education, they’re not investments, so they’re not something you should go into debt over.
The IFDA cites that 22% of marriages end in divorce specifically due to financial stress. So spending more than you can afford on your wedding may be actually working against the very thing your wedding is supposed to represent!
That’s way more ironic than rain on your wedding day. Don’t you think?
Once you know how much money you have to work with, it’s time to start budgeting!
Take Care of Few Things
There’s the cake, the dress, the invites, the save-the-dates, food, venue, entertainment, precious hand-made bow ties for your doggie ring-bearers– rings! favors, photos, videos, flowers, ribbons, chairs, and the minister.
There’s virtually no end the list of things you could spend money on, so do yourself a favor and decide what THREE THINGS are most important to you, and focus on them.
For me, it was the food, the photos, and the music. I promised myself I wouldn’t scrimp on those things, but that meant everything else was up for debate.
For instance, you can go digital with your invites. Of course, it would be lovely to have hand-lettered save-the-dates on $100 ecru shimmer wrap, but why be precious about something that’s going end up in the garbage?
I also ditched the favors. I’ve seen too many receptions where everyone just left their heart-shaped cork coasters on the tables. And my personal favorite hack: I had a beautiful two-tier handmade cake that served about 30, and Costco cakes for the other 100. I didn’t hear any complaints!
If you can afford to go all out on these items, that’s great, but on my budget, it wasn’t worth compromising the things I really cared about.
You can also take respectful advantage of your friends’ skills and resources. Maybe you have a sibling who’s a baker, an aunt who takes great photos, or a cousin who’s a DJ. (Actually, I’m pretty sure everyone has a cousin who’s a DJ.) Asking for help in lieu of gifts is a great way to cut costs and honor the talents of the people close to you.
For example, my uncle happens to be a world-class cellist and he was more than happy to play for us! Of course, remember that relying on favors does mean you can’t be as demanding or expect professional-grade work if someone is a hobbyist.
You may be listening to all this in horror, thinking, “How can I possibly scrimp on any of these things?
This is my special day! I’m trying to create a memorable experience!” Well, you’re not alone. While the average guest count is going down, the amount spent per guest has increased from $194 in 2009 to $268 in 2017. And spending on custom guest entertainment more than tripled!
Most couples really want to give their guests a truly memorable experience. But here’s the thing that most wedding planners don’t want you to know:
People Have Poor Memories
Practically everything about your special day will be forgotten sooner than you imagine. Your uncle won’t remember exactly what he had for dinner–he’ll just remember whether it was served on time.
Your high school friends won’t remember what kind of napkins the drinks came with–just whether they had to pay for those drinks.
Think about all the weddings you’ve been to and what details stuck with you. Having your first glass of champagne?
A teary-eyed speech by the best man? Seeing Grandma and Grandpa dance to their favorite song? The moments I remember the most often have nothing to do with how much they cost.
Best Ways to Save Money On a Wedding
Weddings can be joyous and awesome. It’s a testament to love and commitment. You get to get drunk and dance and be sweaty and make out with a stranger in a photo booth. Oh, was that just me?
That’s not like a thing that always happens? Today I am going to grok 5 best ways to save money for a wedding.
How do you not go bankrupt or crazy when planning a wedding? I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “You’re divorced and rich. What do you know?” Just because I’m divorced, that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say about weddings.
Do you think I ever shut up about anything? Of course not. And just because I’m on TV, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to save money.
Saving money is actually very important to me. For those of you moving into wedding planning season, or for men and women out there who are curious how to save money and sanity, here are my top 5 tips for how not to go bankrupt or crazy when planning your wedding.
The size of the marriage determines the amount of the wedding budget. For beginners with a small family budget, saving a penny can be a huge burden. However, I don’t want my wedding ceremony to be worse than others. In fact, new people don’t have to worry much. Saving some money can do a lot for you. Here are some best ways to save money for a wedding.
1. No Wedding Planner
The number one thing to do if you want to save your sanity and your money is to keep things simple. This means you don’t need a wedding planner, because they make things not really simple, and they’re expensive.
Back in the old days when I was planning my wedding and people bought books, I bought a book that was basically a wedding planner in a book.
It had lists of things to do every month, what you should be planning leading up to the wedding, that was it, simple, done. I went through that book, I did everything they said, and I planned a very lovely wedding in less than a year.
2. No Wedding Party
Wedding party, also known as planned chaos. Another thing that can get super not simple is having an elaborate wedding party. Why? Because it involves renting tuxedos, and then returning the tuxedos, and getting every shoe size, and then you gotta get bridesmaids dresses, and everybody has a different type of body and you need dresses that make the women feel comfortable but sexy.
If you’ve ever been in a wedding or been to a wedding, there is always a wedding party drama. And I’m just going to say this right now. If you’re so worried that someone’s feelings are going to get hurt, if you don’t include them in your wedding party, I suggest you go to therapy or Co-Dependents Anonymous to find out why you care so much about changing your life so other people are comfortable.
Seriously, it’s your wedding. If you want to honor people, have them do a reading, recite a blessing. There’s a lot of other ways for people to be involved other than having to be fit for a dress or tuxedo.
Have them help you on the day of the wedding. They can still do wedding party type things, without them having to be part of the drama.
One of the best things about not having an elaborate wedding party is you’ll never have to talk someone off the ledge because they drank too much at your rehearsal dinner and ate too many chicken wings and now they can’t fit into the dress that you paid a lot of money to have altered to fit their body.
3. Ditch the Florist
Don’t get mad. Don’t use a florist. What? How could I say that? Because I hate flowers? No, I’m allergic to them but I don’t hate flowers. I love flowers, they’re beautiful. But let’s think outside of the box for a second.
Do you really need to spend anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars on flowers that you’re only going to use for a couple of hours?
Maybe you could have a floral bouquet, but do something creative, different, out of the box for your bridal party, if you have one because you didn’t listen to point 2 that I just wrote above.
I bet you’re thinking, “What’d you do for your bouquet, big shot?” Well, I went to different antique stores, and I bought fabric, vintage flowers, and I used a white lace handkerchief that was my grandmother’s, and some blue velvet ribbon and I made a little bouquet.
I also made boutonnieres out of little velvet pansies. Like vintage velvet pansies with the little ribbon. They were perfect. It was inexpensive, it was personal, it was interesting and meaningful.
Save the flowers, save the planet, save money, save having to find out which flowers work best with which color of dress.
4. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Weddings can bring up so many issues that you actually may not need to stress out about. Such as what style of calligraphy you like best, or what shade of off-white the napkins should be.
Think about your wedding day.
Maybe it’s not your responsibility to decide who sits where. You can do open seating or you can do a couple tables with the people that you know you want there, and then just let everybody else figure it out.
Sure, it’s not traditional, but that’s okay. You get to decide what you want for your wedding. Again, if you’re more concerned about other people, then go to a therapist, maybe Co-dependents Anonymous. Just saying, suggestions, all up to you.
And also, if a big meal is too expensive or too stressful to plan, you can do something alternative like a buffet, or you can do what a friend of mine did.
You can get an In-out truck and they come to the wedding and everybody eats the food. I could only eat the fries, but it was amazing.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t let the details, the things that you think you should stress about, ruin the day for you and your partner. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
5. Define an Underestimated Budget
The budget will be the starting point you should not miss. It is one of the best ways to save money on a wedding. Avoid spending more than budgeted is to establish an underestimated base or less than you can afford. In this way, you will have a margin within which to move and spend a little more.
6. Consult Several Suppliers
Another trick to save money on a wedding is to consult with as many suppliers as possible to get more choices and more ratings. Today, there are many popular websites where you can search for all suppliers to reach those who have the most impact on you.
7. Book Early To Save Money For a Wedding
Elders say that “it is famous to know early”, in fact, the same thing goes for weddings! Especially when you book a hotel!
Book your hotel in advance so as not to miss the day. On the other hand, the price of a wedding banquet increases from year to year.
If you book 3,000 wedding tables in advance, it is likely that after six months, when you get married, its price increases, and you will still have to spend the same amount (of course, this must be written to the contract).
8. Make a Banquet in The Morning
The banquet should be set in the morning? Arranging it in the morning can help you to save a lot of money on a wedding. It looks a little unbelievable! Since the wedding feast habits usually begin at lunch or in the evening, the cost of food and water is quite high.
If you are a young couple, the elders and relatives of both sides can also accept Western-style banquets. CWOW recommends that you can open a beautiful breakfast party, which is definitely cheaper than dinner, as most people don’t drink too much until noon. With soft drinks, you can save a lot of water!
9. Choose a Fashionable Wedding Dress
The concept of modern people is very open. At marriage, you should not wear traditional white gauze clothes. Recently, the design of wedding dresses has become more fashionable in recent seasons.
Just because the line between the bride’s wedding dress and the dress becomes blurred, you can use the discount period in the shop to find a suitable dress on the counter of the brand (or designer), which will save you a lot of money.
10. Borrowing The Intelligence of Family and Friends
The intelligence of family and friends is your greatest asset. For example, if you have a small car with a luxury car and your friendship is deep enough, you can ask him to become the driver of the day.
Car rental costs can be saved! If your friend is a computer expert and a good art designer, part of the wedding design can be transferred to him for complete processing!
However, after the wedding, it is better to make a small red envelope to thank him for his great efforts.
Reduce the list of guests is the most direct and effective method. For beginners, this can be a painful decision, but since the biggest wedding expenses are food and lunch, you can save money by reducing the number of guests. Lots of money! Or tell your friends and ask them to come to the wedding ceremony alone.
11. Review the Guests List
If the list of guests has gotten out of hand, try to see it several times so you can make a further skimming. Inviting people to the wedding is always one of the most difficult steps in organizing a wedding. Reducing guests is also one of the best ways to save money for a wedding.
Just ask yourself, what kind of people you really need to invite, and who you haven’t invited, leaving distant relatives or friends you haven’t seen for years.
12. The Ceremony Venue Can Also Be Free
You know Some wedding venues are free! If someone had already asked many hotel lawn wedding prices before and found that the cost was extremely high. In the end, he found a very satisfactory open space in a small park on the river bank near his home. After consulting the head of the park management department, the promise can be used for free!
New people can have weddings in specific places. The event fee is not only cheaper (or even free), but makes the wedding atmosphere special!
13. DIY Dessert Table
In addition to a delicious fondant cake, you can also choose a bare cake which is one of the best ways to save money for a wedding. For the same 10-inch cake, the fondant price is slightly high but for a bare cake – only $300-400. You can buy many others that can significantly satisfy guests’ and needs for a variety of tastes.
Read Also, Good techniques of baking cakes at home
14. Other DIY Details
You can save some details about the reception preparation. You can use DIY to create fabulous DIY wedding crafts to follow the theme of an established wedding and personalize the entire decor.
Another detail that you can do with your own hands is a small gift, and you can give your guests some beautiful original wedding gifts.
15. Midweek Wedding
Avoid weekends, especially when weddings are held between May and September. Weddings on Midweek will greatly reduce the cost of a place or even a restaurant!. So this is the best way to save money on a wedding.
16. No to Improvisers
Many times, spouses believe that they can rely on improvised people to save money on a wedding, such as those who are passionate about photography or cousin (she considers herself an experienced makeup artist).
The result may be unprofessional photos and very short natural bridal makeup. As a final reminder, I recommend you say no to improvised or temporary suppliers.
These are tips and the best ways to save money on a wedding and on various items. Do you have any other suggestions? After carefully examining the costs of commitments and estimates, it is time to hold a meeting.
Have you chosen a wedding invitation? To make your wedding more personal, you can choose original and creative wedding invitations that guests like!
17. Table Decoration
It doesn’t matter how much of a budget you’re on you still need something on the tables and it can cost a fortune so not anymore. I found some amazing decorations at bargains and Poundland I put together this table with little scatter crystals and gems and then beautiful tea light heart holders.
You only need to spend a couple of pounds on each table and the whole room will look beautiful.
I feel like flowers are one of the most expensive things about a wedding and you have to flowers on the table, in your hand and the flowers in the little pocket. So in this hack, Holly of all trades is going to show you how to do the most amazing DIY flowers.
This is becoming so trendy at the moment and it saves so much money if you can go to a flower market and get hold of some of the flowers.
These are so easy to do. This is literally going to save you thousands of dollars and again it can be so nice to do the night before.
Again massive expense so a few tips for you. Get married later in the day so you have to feed your guests. If you want to do something really different like having an afternoon tea you could do tiny little picnic baskets.
20. It’s Your Wedding
This one might be hard. Don’t get caught up on what your parents want. Your parents are going to tell you a lot of things that they think your wedding should look like.
And a lot of people let their parents make those decisions because their parents are the ones paying for the wedding. But keep in mind that bowing to the desires of whoever’s paying is actually not free.
It comes at an emotional price. So here’s a radical idea. If you want to make all of the decisions for yourself and have it be exactly what you want, think about paying for your own wedding.
Yes, even if that means that it’s really small, not as fancy, not as elaborate as you dreamed. It’s your life, not your parents. And if that means that a justice of the peace and everybody going out for pizza after is what you can afford, make it fun and get in that Uber.
As we head into the wedding season, try to remember what the focus of a wedding should be: to bring people together to support your union and to celebrate and create joy as you and your partner start a new life together.
As for me, you’ll probably find me in the photo booth, so please, knock before entering. Happy wedding season everybody! Tell me what your wedding was like or what you’re planning below in the comment. I can’t wait to hear how you keep your sanity and your bank account happy.